Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities The Hon Michael McCormack MP Deputy Prime MinisterMinister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie Minister for Regional ServicesMinister for SportMinister for Local Government and Decentralisation The Hon Alan Tudge MP Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population The Hon Sussan Ley MP Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories The Hon Andrew Broad MP Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Scott Buchholz MP Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport The Hon Barnaby Joyce MPFormer Deputy Prime MinisterFormer Minister for Infrastructure and Transport The Hon Dr John McVeigh MPFormer Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government The Hon Keith Pitt MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Damian Drum MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Senator the Hon Fiona Nash Former Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Darren Chester MP Former Minister for Infrastructure and TransportFormer A/g Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer A/g Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Warren Truss MP Former Deputy Prime Minister Former Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development The Hon Paul Fletcher MP Former Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities The Hon Jamie Briggs MP Former Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

Much needed Plenty Highway road sealing works underway

Media Release

MM065/2018

01 June 2018

Joint release with:

Nicole Manison

NT Deputy Chief Minister
NT Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics

Nigel Scullion

Minister for Indigenous Affairs
Senator for the Northern Territory

Matthew Canavan

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia

Work has started to make the Plenty Highway, which forms part of the 2,800-kilometre Outback Way, safer and more reliable during significant weather events thanks to works to be delivered under the Australian Government's $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program (NARP).

The Liberal and Nationals Government has approved funding towards the Plenty Highway Upgrading project, which includes approximately 20 kilometres of sealing and flood resilience works on a priority section of the highway, with works now underway.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the Government's investment through the NARP was specifically targeting high-priority roads essential to the movement of people and freight in order to support the North's development.

“The works will provide flood resilience and reduce the need for vehicle weight restrictions and road closure after heavy rainfall, which will give cattle producers in the area confidence they can transport their cattle to market efficiently,” Mr McCormack said.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said the upgrading and sealing of nearly 20 kilometres of the Plenty Highway showed that the Federal Government was committed to supporting the agricultural industry in northern Australia by improving connectivity and productivity.

“These upgrades—which are made possible thanks to up to $20 million from the Federal Government—will also reduce travel times thanks to an expected increase in average speeds through the upgraded section, while improvements to the road surface will reduce vehicle operating costs and the damage caused to cattle during transport,” Senator Scullion said.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan said that the funding approved for the Plenty Highway Upgrading project was part of the Australian Government's $330 million commitment to the Outback Way that was enabling critical sealing, widening and flood immunity upgrades across the northern jurisdictions.

“The Outback Way plays a critical role in connecting industries to markets, and rural communities to essential services and economic opportunities, which is why we are continuing to invest in projects that will upgrade priority sections of the route in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia,” Senator Canavan said.

Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Nicole Manison said the section would be constructed to a two-lane sealed standard, which will improve road safety by providing a wider surface for overtaking and passing other vehicles.

“The works will provide a fully sealed connection between the community at Harts Range to the Stuart Highway and will also be raised to provide greater protection against flooding,” Ms Manison said.

The contract for construction of the first package of works has been awarded to Exact Contracting Pty Ltd for $12.6 million.

The full project will be funded on an 80:20 basis with the Australian Government contributing up to $20 million and the Northern Territory Government contributing up to $5 million.